Liquid Gas Exchange
Describe how oxygen and carbon dioxide are transported in the blood.
More than 380,000 babies are born preterm in the U.S. each year, facing a greater likelihood of death before their first birthday. Many have severe respiratory problems. Currently, the number of preterm infants who are treated and recover uneventfully is increasing. Preterm respiratory distress remains because of the protracted problems of the deficiency of surfactant in preterm infants and the structural immaturity of the lungs in preterm infants.
Researchers have been attempting for years to develop a fluid that could transport high concentrations of oxygen in the body.· Such a fluid could substitute for blood in transfusions or be used to carry oxygen into the lungs. Early work on liquid ventilation climaxed in the mid-1960s when a pioneer in this field submerged a laboratory mouse in a beaker of fluid and the animal survived total immersion for more than 10 minutes. The fluid was a synthetic substance that could hold as much oxygen as does air.
A fluorine-containing chemical known as perfluorocarbon (PFC), has been tested to ventilate the collapsed lungs of premature babies. In addition to delivering oxygen to the lung alveoli, it also removes carbon dioxide. The fluid is less damaging to the delicate infant lung tissue than is air, which has to be pumped in under higher pressure.
The Question for you to answer
Choose and describe one type of disorder that might benefit from liquid-assisted ventilation.
Choose and describe one type of therapy that liquid-assisted ventilation might support.